Monstera deliciosa may sound like a spell from Harry Potter, but it is in fact a beautiful flowering plant native to the tropical forests of Southern Mexico and Guatemala, and is probably one of the most famous indoor plants. If you’ve got paparazzi lurking outside your home, it could be that you have a particularly good-looking Monstera deliciosa growing inside.
Also known as a Fruit Salad Plant, which is more about when it fruits than it’s leaf shape, the Monstera deliciosa is beloved for its ease of care and its ability to become a focal point with its striking good looks.
Whether you are already the proud owner of a Fruit Salad Plant or you are looking to enrich your home with one, we have a few tips for you to keep your plant super healthy.
Environment & Temperature:
The best position for your Fruit Salad Plant is in a bright, well-lit area with filtered light. You can get away with direct sunlight during the cooler months but be careful during summer, as the leaves will burn if left in direct sun light. Conditions above 21 degrees Celsius are ideal, but these guys are pretty forgiving as long as they aren’t exposed to direct sunlight or frost.
Sidenote: Fruit Salad Plants can survive in lower light. However the less light your plant gets, the smaller the leaves will be. Higher light levels will produce faster growth and larger leaves.
Fertiliser & Soil:
Fertilise monthly during spring and summer.
This plant doesn’t like too much water. Overwatering is the main culprit of Fruit Salad Plant disease and death. When watering, give them a good soaking and then let the water drain. Don’t leave the plant sitting in water, as this can lead to root rot. Signs of this are yellowing or wilting leaves.
Another good tip is to direct the aerial roots, which grow from the main stem, into a container of water. This allows the plant to draw water and reduce the need to water the mixture in your pot.
These plants are prone to Mealybugs. Keeping the leaves clean helps keep pests under control. An occasional misting with water to help increase the humidity may also help.
These plants aren’t known as Fruit Salad Plants for nothing! The fruit grows to 25cm in length and is corn shaped with green hexagonal tiles covering it. They are edible, but only when ripe. This can take up to a year. You will know when your fruit is ripe, as the hexagonal tiles will fall begin to off. The fruit tastes like a mix between pineapple, banana and mango – hence the name Fruit Salad Plant.
Warning: the fruit is poisonous if unripened. Symptoms include throat irritation, swelling and pain. So let that fruit ripen and enjoy the complex fruity flavour!
Did you know?
In some native regions, the Fruit Salad Plant is used for treating snakebites and arthritis. The roots are also used to make baskets and rope.